“Well… the truth is… actually… I’m in love.”

You know that scene from Love Actually? The one where the stepfather is trying to now be THE parent after the son’s mother dies?

And then the next scene we see these together, they have the following dialogue:

DANIEL: We can definitely crack this. Remember, I was a kid once, too. So, come on, it’s someone at school. Right?

SAM: Yup.

DANIEL: And what does she/he, feel about you?

SAM: SHE doesn’t even know my name. And even if she did, she’d despise me. She’s the coolest girl in school and everyone worships her because she’s heaven.

DANIEL: Good. Good. Well, basically…you’re fucked, aren’t you?

I loved how the father did not make any assumption of his step-son’s sexual orientation. Why would he assume Sam is straight when they have never had this talk before?

Let me tell you something, though. Talking to your kid about crushes and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships is not easy. Not easy at all. And it’s not that, I, as a parent, have problems talking to my 13-year old girl about it. It’s the getting her to open up to me part that’s not easy.

She’s at this age where everything is embarrassing. EVERYTHING! And she’s developed this physical tick in response to most of what I say. Some people call it the ‘eye-rolling syndrome.’ I just call it annoying.

The thing is last night, at the pub where we watched the Toronto Raptors kick ass in the NBA playoffs (see? I told you I like basketball more than hockey), I got to talking about what’s going on in her love life.

And I sort of pulled a Liam Neeson-Love Actually thing. I said, “So last year you liked so and so. What about this year? Do you have a crush on a boy… err… or girl?”

“Mom,” and of course she says this while rolling her eyes.

“What?”

“I’m not… you know.”

“What? Gay?”

“Right.” More eye-rolling.

“Okay – well, I didn’t want to assume! There’s nothing wrong if you are you know?”

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore…”

I probably screwed up that conversation. In fact, she is probably mortified – and hence will be in debt in the future from all the expensive therapy sessions I will have caused her.

Where I Question My Own Parenting Skills

A few weeks ago, my 13 year old daughter and I were doing something. I can’t even remember what – but we were working together to complete a task. I remember complaining about something not working out exactly the way I imagined it. I looked at her to see how she felt.

She waved her hand in the air and said, “Screw it. It will have to do.”

I paused then, looked at her and asked, “Did you just say… ‘Screw it?'”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. You don’t talk that way at school do you? In front of your teachers?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Okay – be careful who you say it in front of, alright?”

“Yes, mom.”

It’s moments like this when I wonder to myself, My God… am I a horrible parent?

The other day, I was ranting and raving to my husband after discovering Logan, the new Wolverine movie, is rated R. I mean, COME ON! They give us two Wolverine and several X-Men movies of which all have been rated PG. Now, all of the sudden they do THIS to us? Just two days before our plan to do a family outing to the cinemas to go and watch this movie, I learned this. Talk about a total let-down.

“Well, exactly what makes it rated R?” I asked Doug.

“Supposedly,” he explained, ‘it’s really, really violent.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah – like decapitation and stuff.”

“Oh for crying out loud! She’s seen all that stuff before. What else?” I quickly open my IMDB app and check out what other parents are saying. “Look… only a very brief scene of nudity. Some woman flashing her boobs. Not great if it’s very brief, I can live with that. Other than that, there’s 48 uses of profanity… hell, she’s heard all that, too!”

“Well, it’s still restricted.”

“But as parents we’re okay with her going to see it – it’s our decision!”

“They still won’t sell her a ticket.”

“That’s just stupid!”

Of course, at this point, I realize perhaps I’m not the most conventional or conservative mom. In fact, I start to think about the movie Bad Moms and wonder if they want to base a character off of me in the sequel.

In all honesty, I keep myself in check in front of other kids. And when it comes to certain matters I’m actually quite strict. I have, however, noticed I’m far from the type of parents my friends are. There’s maybe only one other that comes close to me but as far as my circle is concerned, I’m SO the ‘bad mom’ of the group. And to be honest, I don’t really care. I came to the conclusion years ago, in order for me to be a happy mom, I had to be myself and do it my way. For the most part, it had to come naturally and not forced. So while I have some friends who didn’t let their 10 year old watch Vampire Diaries or read all of the Twilight series, I totally allowed my daughter to.

Which incidentally worked out for me because I love watching Vampire Diaries and The Originals (oh yeah, she watches that one too).

I wonder, though, where do I get this from? Certainly not from my mom. She tried to convince me, when I turned 19, that I couldn’t legally drink until I was 21.

Course, after having dinner last night with my parents, a definite light bulb appeared shining over my head like a beacon. I was ranting and raving about the whole Login thing to my dad.

“No kidding?” He said – being surprised just as I was. He then looked over at his granddaughter and assured her, “Don’t worry – when it’s available, I’ll buy the Blu-ray for you.”

My dad hadn’t even checked the parent guide online like I did before making such a decision.

Then, flashes of my youth came back to me: my dad catching me swear and calmly telling me not to say such words in public; of him letting me have some beer mixed with ginger ale way before I was a tween; of him letting me watch violent martial arts movie at the age of 8; of him standing outside my bathroom door the first time I had a hangover, asking me if I was okay, knowing I drank too much, but calmly letting me be when I told him I would be fine.

My dad was a strict parent in many ways. But when it came down to it, he also allowed me much freedom to experience life. He did not hold me back from growing up.

So I suppose, without realizing it, my spirit of parenting has stemmed from him. And I’m thankful of that.